Friday, February 11, 2011

He Gives and Takes Away

These past three days have been a fog and my emotions have run the gamut.  I work for the Dubuque Community Schools Buildings & Grounds Department and when I got to work Tuesday, it was a scene of chaos and something you would see in your nightmares.  My boss met me at my van when I pulled up and by the grim look on his face, I could tell something terrible had happened (it didn't even click that there were 5 police cars blocking our shop).  Everything was happening so fast and nothing was making any sense to me at all, and it still isn't.  My boss told me that there was a bad accident.  Junior (one of our electricians) was killed.  Dale (one of our grounds guys) accidentally ran him over with one of our trucks.   I was horrified, not only that Junior was gone, but that Dale had to be hurting so unbelievably badly having been behind the wheel.

I don't want to get into details out of respect for the families and just because I don't want to relive it again, I just wanted to give a little background information so you know why this post is so completely different from my others.   And why, if you see me over the next while, I'm not my usual self.  I am grieving.  Our department consists of (7) electricians, (2) painters, (3) grounds crew and (3) carpenters.  We are a family.  We know each others' personalities, we know each others' quirks, we know each others' families.  Our department has been hit hard over the past 2 years with budget cuts and losing a few guys to the layoffs, so we've been brought even closer.  With this horrific tragedy, we need to lean on each other and support each other to get through this.  The one who needs our support the most is Dale.  He is struggling with unimaginable guilt and it is our duty as friends to get him through this.  It's almost like being in a war together.  We stick together. And me being the only female in the department? I am their sister.  I am their daughter.  I am their granddaughter.  We all look out for one another.

Today we are going to the wake together as a department and I am so scared.  I am scared that I am not going to be able to keep it together emotionally.  I am PRAYING that Dale has strength.  I am praying that the arms of Christ will be wrapped so tightly around him that he will feel a bit of peace, even if only for a moment.  I can't even wrap my brain around everything that has happened.  I can't even process it.  All I have been able to do is cry and pray for the families and everyone else who is hurting so badly from such a tragic loss.

Junior was the brother I never had.  He teased me incessantly.  I think I heard at least once a week that Jed & I had better get working on our next baby (because before I had Nora I used to say I was going to have 6 kids!) and that I needed to buy his house from him so we could have room for them all!  He was always trying to sell his house to me!! (joking, of course!).  He also had this fake rat that he used on a few of us to get a reaction out of.  Oh. Man.  That thing.  He was the last one to have it, so we're in an all out search for it because his wife wants it.  Now how many people do you know want a fake rat to remind them of their husband?  Tells you what kind of a comical character he was!!! :-)  I am really going to miss him.  He had in infectious smile and laugh.  You always knew when Junior was around because of his laugh.  He was a larger than life man who always put his family first and never had a bad word to say about anyone.  He had a good ear and would listen to me complain about this or that and I always felt better when he left.  What an outstanding man of character lost only too soon.  33 years of life.  Many sources say that's how old Jesus was when He died.  Junior was always pulling a prank of some kind.  And you never knew when to believe what he was saying or not.  One time he had the entire second floor of the Forum believing that another (not so popular) custodian was coming back from retirement to work at the Forum again.  Oh what chaos! Ha ha!  I was crying and laughing so hard when we were retelling this story!

Goodbye Junior.  You have brought such a joy and laughter to my life, and literally the lives of everyone who ever had the pleasure of being in your company.  In the words of David Crowder, "Everything will change, things will never be the same, we will never be the same."  May the Lord bless you and keep you.  The Lord make His face to shine upon you and be gracious unto you.

"For His anger lasts only a moment, but His favor lasts a lifetime; weeping may remain for a night, but rejoicing comes in the morning." Psalm 30:5

No comments:

Post a Comment